We forget so easily about the power of peace during times of war. Few people remember the peaceful leaders and idolize the ones that start wars. Heroes are not people who kill senselessly because their government told them to. They are willing to fight for something in which they believe. Not because they were told to, but because they are compelled to by a deep desire to change this world. That can be on the battlefield or at home. But never, ever does a forced action a hero make.
During this season, we are surrounded by materialism and the need to satisfy our greed by buying more things. Walmart is overrun by more people than usual, restaurants are more crowded, and people are more irritable than normal. It starts on Black Friday and doesn’t end until after we’ve run out of our tax return money. Fights break out in stores and people leave fast food places upset because their seventeen year old cashier didn’t smile when she said “hello”.
But this doesn’t happen as much from April to October. Why? I think there is a deeper reason than money. I think it’s because we have forgotten about peace. True peace. The kind of peace that is meant to guide your life. The kind of peace that’s mentioned in the bible in the book of Luke, “peace on earth and good will toward men.” It’s mannerisms like this that make people pleasant to be around. Atheists, Agnostics, Christians, Bhuddists, Muslims, Hindus…the list goes on and on. If everyone adopted the idea that we should all wish good will toward our fellow man then there would be less war and deeper friendships. People would look past their biases and stare inward at the common ground we all share.
With roughly twenty million species of animals that inhabit our blue planet humans are the only ones that wage war, hunt out a specific member of a group in order to kill, and do intentional harm to a member of the same niche. We are also the only animal that is capable of coherent, logical thought. We erect huge buildings and make fantastic advancements and yet we can’t stand the Muslim family in our suburb. Our society used to hang people because they were black or gay and we look at the fact that we don’t anymore as a point of pride. If the rest of the animal kingdom could laugh they would certainly laugh at us! The greatest race on earth fighting over something as insignificant as oil and claiming it’s for peace.
There was a time when we fought wars and wrote documents for freedom. We saved people, loved people, and wanted everyone to live as wonderfully as we did. And we did this because it was the right thing to do. The most brilliant people of our years gone by were those that sought to create a beautiful world where we could all live and we are slowly destroying what those intellectual giants spent their entire lives creating. Our society builds corporations and destroys individualism. It makes almost everyone throw away their dreams and work jobs we hate because a vision doesn’t pay the bills.
Some of the greatest peacemakers of the last hundred years have been able to succeed because they were doing what they loved. John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa did what they loved and changed the hearts of millions. Over half these people we’ve assassinated. Our society doesn’t cater to people like this. Peace on earth is an idea and not a pragmatic one. The public likes practical. Not ideological. How practical is turning the other cheek? Loving your enemy? Living most of your life in a third world country caring for the sick? Or spending twenty seven years in prison for your cause?
If we believed in peace on earth and good will toward men as a nation then we would be the greatest country in the world. Our energy would be efficient, our children would be educated, and our schools would be safe. No one would lock their doors, carry handguns in their cars, or cheer when we go to war. We need to get out of our heads that war is a good thing. The greatest paradox is that most of America is classified as “Christian” and they applaud the loudest when a bomb is dropped and a man killed yet they preach vehemently against abortion. All in the name of Christendom. Because we’re fighting a Muslim nation. Because we’re killing someone different from us. Because we’re uneducated.
When peace is able to be achieved in America, when we’re not out fighting a war then and only then will it begin to spread. If one of the greatest superpowers of the world takes a true stand for humanity. These are our people. No matter what you believe, look like, or where your from you share common ground with everyone. These are our brothers. We all crawled out of the same primordial soup. We were all created by the same God. Whatever you believe, it started the same way. And if we don’t learn to show good will toward our brother, it’s all going to end in disaster.